A recent incident in a dental practice in Tennessee brings to light an occupational safety issue that is often overlooked in dentistry. (Learn more about this incident here.) No employer or employee relishes the thought of violence in their workplace, however, it is becoming more commonplace as evidenced in recent incidents in Chicago, Aurora, IL and others. The incident in TN involved an employee in a dental office who was shot and killed by her estranged husband, while she was at work.
OSHA rules state that employers must provide a workplace free from potential hazards, workplace violence being one of them. OSHA’s Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence can be accessed here. This document should be reviewed and discussed during annual OSHA update training. In the meantime, here are some things to consider that can help protect your team from the potential of workplace violence.
What should you do?
Assess the risk of a violent incident in your workplace.
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Mary Govoni, CDA, RDH, MBA
An internationally recognized speaker, author and consultant, working with dental teams for over 40 years on clinical efficiency, infection prevention, ergonomics, and team communication.